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Other Amphibian of the Week

Blackbellied Salamander (Desmognathus quadramaculatus)

photo by Fredlyfish4

Common Name: Blackbellied Salamander, Blackbelly Salamander
Scientific Name: Desmognathus quadramaculatus
Family: Plethodontidae
Location: United States – Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina
Size: 4 – 7 inches

The Blackbellied Salamander is a member of the family Plethodontidae, the largest family of salamanders. These salamanders are interesting because they all lack lungs. The Blackbellied Salamander is one of the most aquatic salamanders of its genus and can be found in streams in the Appalachian Mountains.

Frog of the Week

Lake Oku Clawed Frog (Xenopus longipes)

photo by Václav Gvoždík

Common Name: Lake Oku Clawed Frog
Scientific Name: Xenopus longipes
Family: Pipidae
Location: Cameroon
Size: 1.4 inches

The Lake Oku Clawed Frog is a mostly aquatic frog found in Lake Oku in northwestern Cameroon. There was no native fish in the lake, making it a perfect spot for the frogs to live but humans have introduced fish to the lake. These fish predate on the frogs and their tadpoles, causing population declines. Several zoos have started breeding them to make captive assurance colonies.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Columbia Torrent Salamander (Rhyacotriton kezeri)

photo by Will Flaxington

Common Name: Columbia Torrent Salamander
Scientific Name: Rhyacotriton kezeri
Family: Rhyacotritonidae
Location: US – Oregon and Washington
Size: 2 inches snout to vent length

The Columbia Torrent Salamander is found along the west coast of the US in old growth forests. They are threatened because of logging operations in these areas. The whole family Rhyacotritonidae used to be just one species of salamander but the species was split into four different species, including the Columbia Torrent Salamander. The biology of the Columbia Torrent Salamander isn’t as well known compared to the other torrent salamanders in the family.

Frog of the Week

Sheep Frog (Hypopachus variolosus)

Common Name: Sheep Frog, Mexican Narrow Mouthed Toad
Scientific Name: Hypopachus variolosus
Family: Microhylidae
Location: Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico,Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the United States
US Location: Texas
Size: 2 inches

The Sheep Frog may not have any wool but it’s mating call sounds exactly like a sheep. You will probably only see the frog during breeding time because they generally live in burrows or under logs and debris. They move to ponds to breed to after heavy rain. The Sheep Frog is listed as a threatened by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department so they are protected from collection.


Manatee Awareness Month


West Indian Manatee by the US Dept of Interior

November is Manatee Awareness Month! Did you know there are three different, living species of manatees or sea cows? The three species are the West Indian / American Manatee (Trichechus manatus), Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis), and the African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis). All three of species are listed by the IUCN as vulnerable which sucks. In the US, the major threat to our manatees is humans, specially watercraft collisions. Manatees are hard to see in the water and they are slow swimmers which lead to these collisions. We need to protect these creatures for future generations.

turtle tuesday

Turtle Trouble

Everyone loves turtles with their cute little shells but did you know that many turtles are in serious trouble? There are 243 living species of turtles and 154 of them are listed by the IUCN as vulnerable or worse. That’s 63% of them that are close to becoming extinct. Why are turtle populations in troubles? There are many plenty of reasons including habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, and harvesting for consumption, pet trade, and medicine.

Other Amphibian of the Week

One Toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma pholeter)

by Dan Hipes

Common Name: One Toed Amphiuma
Scientific Name: Amphiuma pholeter
Family: Amphiumidae
Location: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi
Size: 13 inches

The One Toed Amphiuma is found in the southern United States. They are an aquatic species found primarily in mucky waters in swamps and streams. They are also nocturnal and feed mostly during the night. Because of these features, not much is known about the its lifestyle.

Frog of the Week

Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

photo by Jimpaz

Common Name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
Family: Bufonidae
Location: Canada and the United States
US Location: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia
Size: 3.75 inches

The Fowler’s Toad is named in honor after naturalist Samuel Page Fowler, who formed the Essex County Natural History Society, which became the Essex Institute and merged Peabody Museum of Salem to form the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The Fowler’s Toad is found mostly in the eastern United States and barely in southern Canada. They breed during summer, from June to August, and the farther south they are, the later they breed. They can lay between 2000 to 10000 eggs in a clutch.

Frog of the Week

Cranwell’s Horned Frog (Ceratophrys cranwelli)

Common Name: Cranwell’s Horned Frog, Chacoan Horned Frog
Scientific Name: Ceratophrys cranwelli
Family: Ceratophryidae
Location: Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil
Size: 5 inches

The Cranwell’s Horned Frog is a common frog in the pet trade. They have been bred to be a variety of colors but are naturally dark green and brown. They are often referred to as a Pacman Frog because of its resemblance to the video game character. They are sit and wait predators, where they will sit in one spot for hours until something moves in front of them and they snap up and eat it. They eat pretty much any animal that they can fit in their mouths.

Other Amphibian of the Week

California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)

photo by John Cleckler

Common Name: California Tiger Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma californiense
Family: Ambystomatidae
Location: United States – California
Size: 8 inches


The California Tiger Salamander is a federally listed endangered species and a federally listed threatened species. The salamanders in  Sonoma County and Santa Barbara are endangered while the salamanders in Central Valley are listed as threatened. They are listed mainly because the habitats they call home have been destroyed to make room for farm land and cities. Other threats are invasive American Bullfrogs are known to eat the California Tiger Salamander and mosquitofish, which are used to manager mosquito levels, also eat them.